BAUDELAIRE, Charles. Les Épaves

 Bruxelles, chez tous le libraires, 1874.                                                             


8vo, pp. 163. Lacking half-title, etched frontispiece by Félicien Rops, title-page and second half-title. Contemporary brown buckram with gilt title to front cover and author’s initials to head of spine. Crowley’s iconic signature in blue ink on page 3 of text (unnumbered) and an unpublished poem by him in French (a true rarity!) on verso of front flyleaf (see picture and transcription below). At the end of the first sonnet, Le coucher du soleil romantique, Crowley added: “A prize of 333,000 francs is still open to any one who can guess why this sonnet was condemned, or, anyhow, included in this volume”. Crowley commented in pencil under a footnote referring to the word “venin” (venom, poison) in the last verso of the final stanza of A celle qui est trop gaie (“T’infuser mon venin, ma souer!”). The footnote states this and the other five “condemned pieces” were omitted from Les Fleurs du Mal (1857) because the censors thought “venin” had an indecent double meaning. Not without irony, the footnote makes clear it was just a metaphor of Baudelaire’s spleen, adding “Que leur interpretation syphilitique leur reste sur la conscience”. Crowley ironically concluded “et sur la mienne”, acknowledging the so evident maliciousness of the word.

La bouche de l’enfer, la vulve de ma mère
Engloutit de mes reins l’élan incestueux
Moi qui suis Alastor poète suis de ceux
Qui rendent au feu le feu de leur amour amer

Moi qui voulus branler le sceptre de mon père
Rugis, Satan, ton fils fait comme toi le preux,
Le malin me moqua: Bâtard! Fay ce que veulx!
Mais-tu n’est [sic] pas de moi! Tu es de Baudelaire!

L’Abîme s’est gonflée des flots de son venin.
L’écume bouilla de l’abominable vin
Lutin infâme

De ton essor
De Baudelaire l’in… âme.

Third edition of “Les Épaves”, first published in Amsterdam in 1866 and then Brussels. The text was edited by the printer Auguste Poulet-Malassis, a friend of Baudelaire. In 1857, Poulet-Malassis curated and issued Baudelaire’s most celebrated collection of poems, “Les Fleurs du Mal”, which was banned after publication. The six poems known as “condemned pieces”, which were left out from “Les Fleurs du Mal”, appeared in “Les Épaves”, which includes also “Galanteries”, “Épigraphes – Pièces Diverses” and “Bouffoneries”. The present copy contains Crowley’s literary homage to the great French poet, whose verses inspired late C19th art and literature, culminating in the decadent movement. This poem is obscene, perverse, eccentric and genuinely Crowleyan. Written in his unmistakable style, the sonnet shows subtle quotations of Baudelaire’s themes and imitates his grotesque ambience, carrying it to extremes. It shows the motto “Fay ce que tu veulx”, which Crowley drew from Rabelais and St. Augustine, making it the sole rule of his creed: “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law”. Baudelaire is of the highest importance to the development of Crowley and the making of his wicked and magical character. Crowley would have never become the Crowley we know without Baudelaire, his true master and supreme spiritual father: “I have walked through the Garden of the Luxembourg…Ah me! I stand now by the tomb of my father – of Charles Baudelaire. Reverence I bring, and memory, and that seed whereof I am generator and guardian…Oh! My father! My father! Thou art dead: I die: that liveth and shall live for evermore while Our Father the Sun nourisheth Earth with his bounty…Thou knowest, O my father, dead though Thou liest beneath the ill-carven stone of the sham sculptor that I am Thou” (A. Crowley, “Colophon. Charles Baudelaire”, in “The Giant’s Thumb”, New York 1915). Crowley believed the soul of Baudelaire migrated into his body, claiming to be his reincarnation. The outstanding relevance of Baudelaire to Crowley is evident in the many translations of his works, which the occultist undertook. In the preface to “Little Poems in Prose” (1913) Crowley celebrates him thus: “No bolder task can possibly be undertaken than the translation of prose so musical, so subtle, so profound as that of Charles Baudelaire. For this task I have the one qualification of a love so overmastering, so absorbing, that in spite of myself it claims for me a brotherhood with him. Charles Baudelaire is incomparably the most divine, the most spiritually-minded, of all French thinkers. His hunger for the Infinite was so acute and so persistent that nothing earthly could content him even for a moment. He even made the mistake – if it be, after all, such a mistake! – of feeding on poison because he recognized the banality of food; of experimenting with death because he had tried life, and found it fail him…His writings are indeed the deadliest poison for the idle, the optimistic, the overfed: they must fill every really human spirit with that intense and insufferable yearning which drives it forth into the wilderness, whence it can only return charioted by the horses of Apollo and the lions of Demeter, of where it must for ever wander tortured and cast out, uttering ever the hyaena cry of madness, and making its rare meal upon the carrion of damned. This yearning has made all the saints and all the sinners; it severs man from his fellows, and sets his feet upon a lonely road, where God and Satan alone, no lesser souls, commune with it. This yearning is the mother of all artists; in Baudelaire it reaches its highest and most conscious expression”.                                                

Carteret, Romantique I, 128.



OVID. Metamorphoses argumentis brevioribus ex Luctatio grammatico collectis expositae, una cum vivis singularum transformationum iconibus in aes incisis.

Antwerp, Ex officina Plantiniana, Apud viduam, & Joannem Moretum, 1591.


FIRST ILLUSTRATED EDITION. Oblong 8vo, pp. 361 (xxiii), A-Z8, a8, final blank. Italic letter, some Roman, sporadic Greek. Title within elaborate engraved border divided in four sections with figurative scenes from the poem, portrait of the author and 178 full-page plates; plate number 176 (p. 357) bears the signature of the artist Pierre Van der Brocht. Printer’s device on Z5 showing God’s right hand descending from the heavens and holding a compass with motto in cartouche: “labor et constantia”. Clean tear from top towards centre of leaf to Q3, small wormholes to lower margin of final quires, no loss of text. Each leaf of the book is alternated with a blank leaf on which appears a ms. C19th English translation, or paraphrase, of Lactantius’s “argumentum”, or abstract, up to Fable IX, Book 1. In C19th half calf and marbled paper over boards, brass clasp and catch, gilt spine with title and initials “J.B.”

This 16th century Antwerp production weds Ovid’s Metamorphoses with grammatical explanations in order to teach Latin to the young. The text is an anonymous adaptation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, which was first attributed to pseudo-Donatus and then to pseudo-Lactance. In the manuscript books of the Middle Ages, it is sometimes drawn close to the Ars Minor, which was written by the grammarian Aelius Donatus. The dedication of the printer addresses two young children, Luis and Martin Perez de Baron.

Adams, O504; Belgica Typographia, 3913; BRETZIGHEIMER, Studien zu Lactantius Placidus und der Verfasser der Narrationes Fabularum Ovidianarum, 1937; Delen II, 92-93; Funck 374-375; F.W.H. HOLLSTEIN, Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts Vol. III, 100 nrs. between 200-377; Rooses, p. 263; STC Dutch, p. 164.


CAMILLI, Camillo

CAMILLI, Camillo. I cinque canti…aggiunti al Goffredo del signor Torquato Tasso.

Ferrara, Appresso Giulio Cesare Cagnaccini, & Fratelli, 1585.


12mo, pp. 181 (=151) (1), † b-f12 g4. Predominantly Italic letter, some Roman. Woodcut initials and head-pieces, large d’Este coat of arms on title-page. Light age yellowing and spotting throughout, marginal dampstaining. Imprint repeated on verso of last, no date, early ms. note underneath it. In modern quarter vellum, decorative paper over boards, gilt-tooled lettering on half olive green, half red morocco label to spine. A lovely booklet in good condition.

First printed in 1584, this booklet is the second edition of Camillo Camilli’s additional five cantos, or poems, to the Gerusalemme Liberata (Jerusalem Delivered, 1581) of Torquato Tasso (1544-95). Camilli (d. 1615) was a scholar from Siena who taught letters in the Republic of Ragusa (Dalmatia). He edited a reprint of Tasso’s masterpiece in 1583 with the title of Goffredo, to which he added the present work in order to develop and conclude the love stories of the characters Armida and Rinaldo and Arminia and Tancredi. Camilli’s prefatory letter addresses his dedicatee, Matteo Senarega, who held important political offices in the Republic of Genoa, becoming doge of this maritime power in 1591. Senarega studied law in Louvain and Latin in Venice, where the famous printer Paolo Manuzio was his tutor. Camilli mentions the efforts made by the then chancellor and saviour of the Republic in order to prevent further clashes of civil war between the old nobility (the Doria, Cicala, Spinola, Di Negro, Vivaldi, Cattaneo, Lomellini, Grimaldi families) and the new nobility, whose party had seized the power in the oligarchy. Camilli praises Senarega’s diplomatic skills and tells the reader he learnt from Aldo Manuzio the Younger that the former doge retired to private life, after his successful political manoeuvres. Moreover, Manuzio told Camilli that Senarega enjoys the pleasure of reading poetry, which is the reason why the writer decided to dedicate this work of his to Senarega. Before the first canto begins, Camilli included some celebrative verses dedicated to the great poet Tasso, written by Francesco Melchiori from Oderzo.

 Adams C451; USTC 818083; EDIT16 41545.

PINDAR, Peter [pseud. of John Wolcot]

PINDAR, Peter [pseudonym of John Wolcot]. The Works of Peter Pindar, Esq.

 London, Published by J. Walker and J. Harris, 1809.


12mo, four volumes, each one with a half-title, frontispiece, engraved title page and regular title page with Peter Pindar’s portrait being on the first volume. Ms. ex libris of Sir George-William Denys, Baronet, on front endpaper of each volume. Bound in a lovely gilt-ruled straight-grain red morocco (fourth volume with some worm tracking on front cover), inner dentelles, author and title to gilt spine, marbled pastedowns, a.e.g. A lovely set in a beautiful binding.

Peter Pindar was the pen name of John Wolcot (9 May 1738 – 14 January 1819), an English satirist who found that poetry paid better than his medical profession. Indeed, though trained as a physician and practising medicine, in 1780, Wolcot went to London and began writing satires. The first objects of his attentions were the members of the Royal Academy. For the historian of the fine arts the relevant items are his Lyric and Farewell Odes to the Royal Academicians for the years 1782, 1783, 1785 and 1786 (pp. 9-133), in which the painter Benjamin West and all its other leading members are unmercifully satirised, and the opening poem in his Subjects for Painters (pp. 445-506), but the poems as a whole well repay reading, particularly those that ridicule the naturalist Sir Joseph Banks, King George III’s, and the Abyssinian traveller James Bruce. Other objects of his attack were Boswell, the biographer of Samuel Johnson, Hannah More, former bluestocking and playwright, and Bishop Porteus. Wolcot had a remarkable vein of humour and wit, which, while intensely comic to persons not involved, stung its subjects to the quick. He had likewise strong intelligence, and a power of coining effective phrases. In other kinds of composition, as in some ballads he wrote, an unexpected touch of gentleness and even tenderness appears. Among these are The Beggar Man and Lord Gregory. He died at his home in Latham Place, Somers Town, London, on 14 January 1819, and was buried in a vault in the churchyard of St Paul’s, Covent Garden.



PINDAR. ΠΙΝΔΑΡΟΥ ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑ ΝΕΜΕΑ ΠΥΘΙΑ ΙΣΘΜΙΑ = Pindari Olympia, Nemea, Pythia, Isthmia. Una cum Latina omnium Versione Carmine Lyrico per Nicolaum Sudorium.

Oxford, E Theatro Sheldoniano, 1697.


FIRST ENGLISH EDITION of the Greek text. Folio, pp. (xxxiv) 56, 59-497 (xciii) 77 (iii). Greek, Roman and Italic letter. Double-column text, single-column commentary; exceptionally well margined. Engraved frontispiece by M. Burghers with Pindar’s portrait within an oval coat of arms placed on a wide plinth inscribed with encomiastic Greek verses; to the sides, Apollo and Hermes laying a laurel crown on the head of the poet; above, an angel plays a trumpet while holding a palm branch in his other hand. Large title-page vignette, again by Burghers, of the goddess Athena as patron of the arts with her aegis (shield with the head of Medusa) and other artistic attributes; in the background, a view of Oxford and some of its iconic buildings, among them the Sheldonian. Endpapers and a few first and final leaves very slightly browned, negligible, and not affecting the beautiful and unstained initial illustrations; a few light thumb marks and some spotting or toning. In a sumptuous nearly contemporaneous gilt-ruled red morocco over thick boards, inner dentelles, lettered spine gilt in compartments, marbled endpapers with two C19th bookplates to the front (the earliest one is of the chief commander of the Greek freemasonry linked to the Supreme Council, 33°; the other one is probably linked to the Greek island of Chios). Joints and cover edges a little worn and rubbed, corners with signs of skilled restoration. A fresh, crisp, exquisitely clean and large paper copy in an elegant binding, a.e.g.

Large paper copy of this ‘excellent edition’ regarded as dated by Brunet but patriotically supported by Lowndes. This is the first English edition of the Greek text of Pindar, edited by Richard West and Robert Welsted, both then young fellows at Magdalen College (and both of whom left Oxford shortly afterward, West for the priesthood and Welsted for medicine). Pindar’s Epinician Odes, or odes on victory, were written in honour of the victors at the four great panhellenic Games, and are accordingly grouped as Olympian, Pythian, Nemeana and Isthmian. Pindar was held in great regard in Oxford in the second half of the seventeenth century, as this edition evidences. English Pindarics were also in vogue as one can see from the popularity of Cowley’s versions (Abraham Cowley, “Pindarique Odes” in “Poems” (London, 1656)). The continental influence of Pindar can be detected in such diverse work as Galileo Galilei’s introduction to Siderus Nuncius”. The present book includes the Latin verse translation by Nicolas Le Sueur (1545-1594) along with the Greek text, plus a Latin prose paraphrase, the Greek scholia, Latin notes, a chronology of the Olympiads, multiple ‘Lives’ of Pindar, and, in a section at the end, a collection of Pindaric fragments. Dibdin calls it ‘a beautiful and celebrated edition’.

ESTC R20960; Moss II 410; Dibdin II 289; Brunet IV, 659; Lowndes V, 1868; Wing P-2245.


PINDAR. ΠΙΝΔΑΡΟΥ ΕΠΙΝΙΚΙΑ [Pindarou Epinikia]. Pindar’s Odes of Victory: the Olympian and Pythian Odes with an introduction and a translation into English verse by C.J. Billson. Embellished with wood engravings by John Farleigh.

Oxford: Printed by the Shakespeare Head Press (Stratford-upon-Avon) for Basil Blackwell, 1928.


FRIST EDITION. 4to (282 x 195 x 50mm. (11 1/16 x 7 5/8 x 2in.), two volumes: pp. 1) xxii (ii) 297 (i); 2) xxi (iii) 193 (i). Limited edition of 250 copies (this in no. 100). Greek and Roman letter, parallel Greek and English text. Several woodcut illustrations. Bound in quarter black cloth with orange paper on stiff boards. Greek and English title stamped in black on front cover with an imperial eagle. In brilliant condition, just minor rubbing to edges and corners of covers. Untrimmed, paper label bearing title to spine beneath headcaps.

“There is nothing in the whole range of literature corresponding to the Greek odes of victory, the most splendid examples of which still surviving were composed by Pindar between the years 502 and 442 B.C., during the most flourishing period of the Greeks’ history, and in the high summer of their genius.” The Olympian Odes, introduction, v. “In these complex poems, Pindar commemorates the achievement of athletes and powerful rulers against the backdrop of divine favor, human failure, heroic legend, and the moral ideals of aristocratic Greek society. Readers have long savored them for their rich poetic language and imagery, moral maxims, and vivid portrayals of sacred myths” (Harvard University Press). The present copy was superbly printed at the Shakespeare Head Press of Stratford-upon-Avon on thick paper; an outstanding bilingual production on opposing pages, displaying Charles J. Billson’s delightful English translation. The fine woodcuts by John Farleigh are stylised illustrations in the Etruscan manner.

WRIGHT, Abraham (Ed.) – Delitiæ delitiarum

WRIGHT, Abraham (Ed.). Delitiæ delitiarum sive Epigrammatum ex optimis quibusq[ue] hujus & novissimi seculi poetis in amplissimâ illâ Bibliothecâ Bodleiana, et penè omninò alibi extantibus, ανθολογια, in unam corollam connexa.

Oxford, Excudebat Leonardus Lichfield impensis Gulielmi Webb, 1637.


FIRST EDITION. 12mo, pp. (xvi) 247 (i), †8 A-K12 L4, first leaf blank. Roman letter, a little Italic. T-p boxed within a frame, headpieces and fretwork decorations. Ms. autograph of Charles Stonor Bodenham (1712-1764), “Esq. of Rotherwas, m. Frances Pendrill, descended from Richard Pendrill, who saved King Charles II” (B. Burke, A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain & Ireland, Vol. 1, London 1906, 11th ed., p. 154), on t-p. Small tear affecting foot of D2 and large tear to margin and centre of F5, no text loss. Light browning and age yellowing, some waterstainingon initial and final leaves, a very few ms. notes throughout. In early calf binding, gilt title on red morocco label to spine, spine and corners somewhat worn.

A Bachelor of Arts and Fellow of St. John’s College, Abraham Wright (1611-1690) published the results of his lighter reading in the Bodleian in a little volume printed by Leonard Lichfield. This book is mainly in verse and it is an anthology including poetry extracts, poems, and epigrams by various authors, from the Middle Ages to the early modern period, whose books are kept in the prestigious Oxford library. It includes an epigram on tobacco at page 218, which testifies to the novelty of tobacco smoking and chewing and the spread of its consumption at the time. During C17th, tobacco and its properties were debated all over Europe, with many supporters and as many opponents, King James I among the latter.

BEMBO, Pietro

BEMBO, Pietro. Prose di Monsignor Bembo.

Venice, [Comin da Trino], 1540


8vo. A-O8. 112 leaves. Italic and Roman letter. Historated initials, headpieces. Alternate prose and verses. Light thumb marks on title page, page edges a little browned, ink thumb mark on margin at foot of D4, not affecting the text, blank verso of last leaf a little soiled. Elegantly rebound in early C20th brown morocco by the bookbinders Birdsall & Son of Northampton with gilt double framing along cover edges, containing fleurons, and elaborate gilt oval at centre of covers. Inside gilt dentelles. Spine divided in five gilt compartments. Title to spine. A very fine, clean and crisp copy in excellent state. A.e.g.

Known as Prose della Volgar Lingua (“Discussions of the Vernacular Language”), this is the second edition of one of the most-renowned work devoted to the Italian language. It first appeared in 1525. This linguistic guide has been fundamental to the establishment of a common Italian language based on the Tuscan vernacular. Great humanist and undoubtedly skilled man of letters, Pietro Bembo (1470–1547) was a Cardinal and today he is considered one of the noble fathers of modern Italian.

“In the Prose, Bembo codified Italian orthography and grammar, essential for the establishment of a standard language, and recommended 14th-century Tuscan as the model for Italian literary language. His view, opposed by those who wanted Latin and by others who wanted a more modern Italian as the model, had triumphed by the end of the 16th century.” Encyclodaedia Britannica

Adams, I, 109. NUC, 754.


PINDARUS. Olympia, Pythia, Nemea, Isthmia, Cæterorum octo lyricorum carmina, Alcaei, Sapphus, Stesichori, Ibyci, Anacreontis, Bacchylidis, Simonidis, Alcmanis, nonulla etiam aliorum. Editio II. Græcolatina.

 [Geneva], Excudebat Henricus Stephanus, illustris viri Huldrichi Fuggeri typographus, 1566.


32mo, two volumes: 1) pp. 576, a-z8, aa-nn8; 2) pp. 568[468], A-Z8, AA-GG8. Greek and Italic letter, a little Roman. Printer’s device on title page of both volumes, decorated initials. First volume: t-p little soiled, dampstaining to initial five quires, light age yellowing throughout, occasional early ms. underlining, autograph dated 1697 at colophon; second volume: title “Carminum poetarum novem,…” (it starts with Alceus), light occasional age yellowing, damstaining throughout final seven gatherings, early ms. annotation in French concerning an “enigme”. Rebound in modern gilt scarlet morocco, title to spine, marbled pastedowns, gilt inner dentelles and cover fore-edges.

This is the second pocket edition (first 1560) of Pindar’s poems – the Olympic, Pythian, Nemean and Isthmian odes – and other selected works by the Greek poets Alcaeus, Sappho, Stesichorus, Ibycus, Anacreon, Bacchylides, Simonides and Alcman. This edition includes also many other short poems concerning these poets by contemporary and later authors, both Greek and Latin. Edited by the Mecenas of letters Ulrich Fugger and commented by the printer himself, Henry Estienne, as part of their common editorial plan to publish Ancient Greek texts, the first volume of this work includes a dedication letter from Estienne to the Protestant Reformer, scholar, and erudite Philipp Melanchthon, who worked on several classic authors, including Pindar, on whom he focused extensively. The second volume includes a poem in praise of Markus and Johann Fugger, which is likely to be a sign of recognition for the financial support that these rich bankers provided for Estienne’s undertaking of printing Greek classics.

Adams P1228





BORGOGNI, Gherardo

BORGOGNI, Gherardo. La fonte del diporto. Dialogo del signor Gherardo Borgogni…

 Bergamo, per Comino Ventura, 1598.


FIRST EDITION. 4to, ff. (iv) 62, (no signature)4 A-O4 P6. Roman and Italic letter. First part of the title within cartouche at the top of the page, an architectural frieze. Large printer’s device of Fortune goddess within elaborate border and motto “Bona fortuna”; head- and tailpieces, decorated initials. Bookplate of Baron Horace de Landau (1824-1903) with library number on front pastedown. C20th ex libris of V.d.G. (Ludovico(Vico) de Gobbis) on verso of first front flyleaf and rear pastedown (his motto: Je fus sage je fus fou; woodcut bookplate by the Venetian artist Alberto Zanverdiani). In a modern panelled large-grain brown morocco binding, gilt with green inlay by Loric (rose branches entwined along the arms of an emerald green compass), angular fleurons (fleur-de-lis), fine inner dentelles, marbles pastedowns and fore-edges, a.e.g.. A fine, clean, and fresh copy.

This is the first edition of this fine dialogue written by Gherardo Borgogni (1526 – ca. 1608), which was dedicated to his patron the Count Pirro I Visconti Borromeo, as the prefatory letter makes clear. Born in Monferrato, today Piedmont, this poet was an assiduous traveller during his early life, who lived and journeyed around Spain, as well as Italy, visiting the south of the country and eventually settling down in Milan. He became a member of the Milanese Accademia degli Inquieti (Academy of the Restless), in which he entered with the name of “Errante”, the Errand. In Fonte del Diporto, which could be translated as “The source of pleasure”, or “recreational time”, he published all the poems he composed and delivered to his fellow academicians during his academic meetings. These are joint together by prose. In this work Borgogni showed his closeness to important figures, such as the founder of the academy Muzio Sforza Colonna, who was the marquis of Caravaggio, Count Ferdiando Nogarola, and the Spanish governor of Milan, Juan Fernandez de Velasco. He established his reputation in the high society and within the finest literary circles of the city also thanks to his activity as editor of several poetic works. The present work includes sonnets to the author by Cosmo de Aldana, Gentleman-Usher to Philip II of Spain, and the academy members Francesco Piccinelli, Ercole Cimilotti and Muzio Manfredi. It also includes a poem of Borgogni in praise of Torquato Tasso.

Rare: not in Adams or the British Library, NUC records only 2 copies. Brunet states: “Edition belle et rare. Quoique moins complète d’ailleurs que celle de 1602, elle renferme quelques morceaux qui n’ont pas été réimpr. dans cette dernière”. EDIT16 7149; USTC 816509.